Scammers pretending to be PEPCO employees threatening to shut off power

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Got an email from a resident about a PEPCO scam going around. Worth noting, so no one falls for this idiocy. (Call 911 if something like this happens to you…)

Hi Petworth News, 

Today someone posing as a PEPCO agent (in full Pepco outfit with badge etc) rang our door alerting us that our bill had not been paid and that our electricity would be shut off within the next 45 min. My husband smelled the scam and told them to call me if so urgent. They were sophisticated enough to actually call me from what showed up on my incoming call log as the real PEPCO customer service number (i.e. 1-833-7500). I have no idea how they did that, but I guess there is an "app" for that. 

They then proceeded to tell me on the phone that in order to halt the electricity shut-off, we had to pay the outstanding bill as cash payments via a nearby local 7-eleven as an online payment via my account would not be processed fast enough. Obviously, this is when you should become really suspicious....

I just wanted to make sure to get the word out there for any unassuming potential victims. Note, we are located near Powell ES, but I assume they may try some more households in the neighborhood. 

...and if you want to be a hero when that fake PEPCO guy rings your door, you could tell him to just hang on for a second (while you go back in and quickly call 911), and then you keep them engaged in a chat or leave them waiting outside your door until the police arrives and can arrest them. At least, that way the front man of the scam can be arrested...and with that maybe the rest of the gang traced back. I wish we would have thought that far when the guy rang the door. He is obviously not going to come back to our house now that I have screamed to them on the phone about being fucking scammers.  

The Office of People’s Counsel, who oversees utilities in DC, shared the below tips via Twitter in response to this article:

Drew Schneider

Local DC blogger in Petworth, Washington DC.



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